Developing Dialogues: Indigenous and Ethnic Community by Susan Forde

By Susan Forde

The normal audience/producer boundary has collapsed in indigenous and ethnic neighborhood broadcasting, and this is often the 1st entire learn of this homegrown media region. according to firsthand examine of radio and tv audiences in Australia, the authors argue that group radio and tv world wide plays a vital provider for indigenous and ethnic audiences, empowering them at quite a few degrees, fostering energetic citizenry, and embellishing democracy. constructing Dialogues bargains overseas researchers a brand new standpoint on Australian neighborhood broadcasting and offers facts of worldwide developments within the media undefined.

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That was the basis on which community radio was established in Australia more than 35 years ago and this philosophy persists. Despite a significant shift in emphasis during that period – from an early dominance by urban-based ‘alternative’ stations to today’s predominance of generally more politically conservative rural and regional radio – the community sector overwhelmingly defines itself in terms of its commitment to local audiences (Forde et al. 2002). No other media sector operating in the public sphere in Australia has the capacity to do this.

However defined, enabling local access to the airwaves is a consistent and central theme of community radio across the country. The commitment to ‘democratizing’ the airwaves is particularly evident in the community broadcasting sector’s Code of Practice (required under section 123 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992). Amongst other principles, the code clearly states a responsibility to widen the community’s involvement in broadcasting and to encourage participation by those denied effective access to, and those not adequately served by other media (See Figure 2).

And despite some sign that large media corporations’ expansion plans have been slowed by the US Senate (McChesney and Nichols 2008), the current state of global media ownership remains significantly concentrated to cause concern. This is especially the case in Australia which has amongst the most concentrated media ownership structures in the Western world. It underlines the importance of the community media sector in a globalized world where the representation of local cultures has increasingly become more of a commercial enterprise than a community service.

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